Symbid is having a tough time, lately. The Dutch crowdfundingplatform took a huge loss over 2015 and things don’t seem much better at the start of 2016. But a brand new investment gives them some air to breath. In a new funding round, Symbid raised a convertible loan of €490.000 with an interest of 8 percent.
The funding arrives just in time as Symbid still takes heavy losses. In 2015 they took a loss of over €2 million. Things didn’t look up in the first quarter of 2016, Fundwijzer notices. Symbid took another loss of €600.000 in the first three months. This huge loss can be mostly accredited to the 30 percent rise in personnel costs and begs the question how far the new loan will carry them.
There is a silver lining though: revenue grew by 21 percent compared to the same quarter last year. Revenue from crowdfunding in this quarter was €65.000. It is not enough by far, but at least Symbid is on the way up. Korstiaan Zandvliet, CEO en Founder van Symbid lets Fundwijzer know he’s confident that they’ll come out on top. He claims that the continuity of the company was never in danger. With the cutting of the costs and restructuring, he claims that the company can reach its break-even point in less than a year. It does however proof once again that crowdfunding is not the end-all solution for free money, as we recently argued (dutch).
Closing an Amsterdam office
Additional to the new loan, Symbid will significantly cut costs. They’ll do this by closing their second office in Amsterdam, allowing them to shrink their R&D department. According to Zandvliet they have finished developing the product that is The Funding Network. Further investments are not required, they are now ready to reap the rewards.
When it was founded 2011, Symbid was basically the first equity crowdfunding platform worldwide and the future was bright. It played an important role in shaping the crowdfunding landscape in The Netherlands. In 2014, they went public in the USA, followed by the launch of The Funding Network, with which they offered more financial products.
Reconsider international expansion
In 2015 they opened up offices in Italy. Symbid will now also reconsider this international expansion. Rules and regulations surrounding crowdfunding are different in each country, making it hard to maneuver for the platform. For instance, in the USA the risk of an investment lies not with the investor, but with the crowdfund platform, making it risky business for Symbid.
Picture: Team Symid – source